01) Why did you decide to become a real estate agent?
Well, I actually think it was more like “What is there for me to do in MIAMI, with all my acquired skills and experiences, to become financially independent and still be the 100% involved mother I wanted to be to my daughters, hahaha.” I have a degree in product design, moved about 20 times within 7 different countries, had learned 4 more languages in addition to my Swiss-German mother tongue, and an entrepreneurial spirit.
The latter let me quickly see the potential in Miami’s very exciting Real Estate market, so I challenged myself to it, gave it a try and have loved it ever since.
I did get inspired by three Realtors: the one who helped us find a home when we first moved to Miami in 2009—She was happy, loving and dedicated and made us feel so welcome in Miami; and “Beba” (Mercedes) who at 80 years old has still been having fun helping people buy and sell homes as well as keeping up with all the new trends and technologies. She uses her iPhone and iPad applications better than many half her age—hahaha, and then a top, top, top producer whose charisma, good humor, and great attitude really impressed me.
02) How difficult is it to break into the business?
Like with every business—motivation, determination, and how much business you can create for yourself. The better connected, committed, and dedicated to your business you are the easier it will be for you to get started. But keep in mind that it might take six months to a year before you make your first sale. Some Brokerages provide more guidance and support than others, but you are the one in the driver’s seat steering your own success.
03) What was your first role as a real estate agent?
I never felt like I had a first role, I simply got my Real Estate Agent license, hung it with Brokerage (which happened to be also my Tennis Partner) and was ready to rent, list or sell homes.
I got lucky with a Broker that provided me with many rental leads which I took very seriously and as an opportunity to get to know the city and its buildings. I must have shown hundreds of apartments, hahaha, and ended up closing 90% of the transactions. This boosted my confidence tremendously and it has been good for me ever since.
04) With such a competitive business what skills have taken you to becoming a top-selling agent?
Definitely languages and my cultural experiences are the top of the list with Miami being a melting pot of many nationalities; making clients feel secure, comfortable, and welcome; discipline, diligence, organisation and perseverance are a must-have and I had, but the skill I learned and feel I still need to perfect, is the skill of listening to my client’s needs.
05) With a busy schedule, how do you prioritize your personal life?
What personal life? hahaha. It definitely is not a 9am-5pm job, more like a 24/7. Being a Realtor means you can never really get away from work so I include it into my personal life and I love it. Clients become friends and “family” and friends become clients. My natural desire to create long-term relationships has made my business flourish. With today’s technology I can always be reachable even if I take time to play piano and tennis, travel, and dedicate time to my emotional and spiritual growth.
My daughters are always my priority, they are all grown up now and live their own lives, but they know that I am always there for them. Inclusion is the secret.
06) Ever felt uncomfortable with a client while showcasing a property/listing?
No, never, but I am prudent. If I have any doubts about showing in areas which I am not familiar with, I definitely let someone know of my whereabouts.
08) How do you keep up with trends and technology that, of course, makes our selling life easier?
Working with a great Broker who provides us with training on new trends and strategies, and our Board of Realtors with numerous education classes help me to keep up-to-date and current.
09) Do you believe investing in real estate is safer than other investments?
Definitely, but you have to be vigilant, that is why you want to work with a knowledgeable Realtor who can guide you.
10) What makes a property luxury and what is the most expensive property you ever sold?
Any home beyond basic in a desired area becomes Luxury because it is more difficult to obtain. Miami has become a very desirable city for many wealthy people. Many of them want to move to Miami or purchase homes for investment precisely because of its year-round wonderful and warm climate, stable economy, and the fact that it is a fast-growing city with many opportunities.
Homes and apartment buildings have become more and more lavish, with beautiful pools and amenities with views and access to the Bay and Ocean.
Homes over $900,000 to $1 million are considered to be luxury properties and from there it can go up to 30 to 40 million. A bit above 2 million was my highest sale so far but I was close to closing a transaction for 25 million, which would have been very nice, hahaha.
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